ICPDC 09.05.19

We are hot off the heels of our highly-appreciated short set yesterday at the Europa, Belfast. We performed at the International Conference in Palliative Dementia Care, in front of the NI Permanent Secretary for Health.  It is the first of three invites to perform at Healthcare conferences during this year.

So what’s the deal? Traipse around the country singing few wee secular ditties? Far from it. Last year we were invited to our first conference. This year three. We talked about what we could do. Firstly, we had a workshop weekend to prepare repertoire and make short recoridings to focus the minds. Next, we arranged a short rehearsal the evening before and the evening of the conference performance. To make it worthwhile, it is linked to tomorrow’s Russian Song Workshop as a stand-alone event and a start of  preparation for Cork in November.
What about the other benefits? Publicity, potential recruits, variety of performance, seeing value in meeting up with old friends and new? Now we are getting somewhere. The warmth that members of this choir great each other with is no special. Common focus by busy people who have taken special time aside for this. Most of share work and life experiences but put them aside to sing. Are we all doctors? No. Do we all enjoy this choir? Yes.
We also want to share with those around us, whether it is a paying audience at a big gig, or a corner in a small hospital to an appreciative, but frail, elderly lady in a wheelchair and her carer.
Last night we sang to a requested Irish theme. Brian told the audience this was for those visiting Ireland for the conference. I know he also meant the Irish themselves; there’s a magic in taking something that might be familiar, and making it fresh and expressive. Brian drew out the meaning through musicality and the underlying meaning of the text. That poor boy and girl in the Sally gardens, whose eyes are now full of tears and the tender story of the the unnamed girl and the return of her distant Boy, praying over her grave with soft tread.
I did think we should squeeze all our IDC experiences for everything we can draw from them. As one appreciative conference attender commented, the music was “beautiful music for the soul.” Well done, and thank you, Brian. Now, the workshop….

Neil

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